Since 1999 the National Khoisan Council was formed by the late President Nelson Mandela to act as a negotiating forum to address the constitutional accommodation of the Khoisan San in South Africa.
The Traditional Council was established under the leadership of Prince Raymond Trollip, the elected president of KPTC-KZN on 06 March 2020, in Pietermaritzburg. HRH has a vast knowledge on civic matters as a former Mayor of Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal, a former Commissioner for the Commission for Religious & Linguistics Rights (CRL) and traditional affairs. This structure has met all the requirements of the Traditional KhoiSan Leadership Bill and can now make recommendations for KhoiSan communities to be recognised as traditional communities in accordance with the provisions of the Traditional KhoiSan Leadership Bill.
The legal opinion on the Traditional Leadership and Khoisan Amendment Bill noted a submission from the KZN Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs that it was time that the KhoiSan were grouped under one umbrella with the existing traditional authority. However, the legal adviser proposed that chapter 12 of the Constitution encompassed all indigenous customs, and the KhoiSan should be accommodated in terms of it, even though it might do things separately and differently. The Bill was to be branded as a section 76 Bill, even though it spoke to the National House of Traditional Leaders, as the National House was only there by virtue of its being a traditional house.
Its objectives and functions are to promote the role of traditional leadership within a democratic constitutional dispensation, enhance unity and understanding among traditional communities and advise national government.
His Royal Highness, Prince Llewelyn Jullies of the Korana Tribe in KZN, stated; “The Khoisan order, which is the five bloodlines, had to be implemented. Out of those will be the Kings, Queen, Chiefs, Senior Traditional Leaders, Headmen and Headwomen. These will be appointed by the Premier of the province and registered with the Department of Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs (CoGTA).The second move to implement will be the KwaZulu-Natal Khoisan Traditional Council. When this council is put to work, we will start with our land, heritage and historical landmarks. This council will also address the needs of the Khoisan, such as employment and economic development, alongside local and provincial government, who will regulate themselves and appoint their own leadership”
Jean Choudree, 2nd Deputy President of the Khoisan Provincial Traditional Council of KZN said; “The council leadership will sit in various municipalities, local, provincial and national structures, representing the KhoiSan nation. The Khoisan Traditional & Leadership Bill allows us to form a provincial council and advisory council under the Premier. The way forward is that our people must unite as the door is now open for ALL “Coloured communities to be part of the development plan for the first time in the country since our forebears were dispossessed. Our historical landmarks and heritage sites must be handed over to the rightful owners”.
When it comes to the harsh difficulties many Khoisan face every day, the saying “out of sight, out of mind” hits home.
Many people have only a vague sense of the serious past and present injustices suffered by these indigenous people.
With an attitude that the Khoisan were subhuman, “merciless savages,” white settlers forced countless numbers of them off their lands, away from ancient hunting grounds.
The Khoisan still suffer higher rates of poverty, poor educational achievement, substandard housing, and higher rates of disease and illness. They continue to rank at or near the bottom of nearly every social, health, and economic indicator.
One of the key strategic goals of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders is the custodianship of cultures, customs, traditions and values. Within the provincial context, traditional leaders have a significant role to play in promoting indigenous languages and cultures as well as preserving heritage for future generations.
By: Lorraine Richards